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TrackMan director takes his shot at an NFL spot

Mathiesen: “I’m the best example of how kickers can utilize TrackMan to get better”

As the American football operations and sales director for TrackMan, Simon Mathiesen has a great story to tell when he speaks to National Football League teams. The same dual-radar tracking technology trusted by the world’s best golfers can be used by the world’s best placekickers to improve their games, too.

But when Mathiesen met with Dallas Cowboys officials at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, he had an opportunity to reveal his most effective sales tool: Himself.

“I showed them some of my kicks on video and they said, ‘Wow, Simon, you’re pretty good,’” Mathiesen recalled. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I am, actually.’”

Mathiesen hasn’t kicked competitively since 2016, when he helped his Northwest Missouri State University team win its third Division II championship in four years. During his collegiate career, Mathiesen was 61-of-74 on field goals and 237-of-243 on extra points.

Mathiesen’s on-field experience helped him land his role at TrackMan. The process of testing new features and conducting product demonstrations has kept his kicking game sharp.

After seeing those practice kicks, the Cowboys were interested. So was Mathiesen. He fared well at a free agent tryout, then traveled to Dallas in April for a TrackMan demo-slash-private workout, where he showed enough to earn an invite to the team’s rookie minicamp in May.

Mathiesen went 11-for-12 on the first day of minicamp, including 5-for-5 from 50-plus yards. He followed up with a 12-for-16 performance the next day, along with some strong kickoffs.

“Overall, I was happy with how I performed,” Mathiesen said. “I kicked very well, and I got some really good feedback from the coaches, too.”

Mathiesen left camp without a contract as the Cowboys were already at their 90-man roster limit. But roster shake-ups are common during the spring and summer, so the team told him to keep his leg warm. With only one kicker on the roster — Jonathan Garibay, an undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech — Mathiesen could still get a shot at kicking for “America’s Team” this season.

“We’ll see,” Mathiesen said. “I’m just gonna go about my business with work and training, taking care of my body and staying ready, and we’ll see what happens.”

Mathiesen has plenty to keep him busy in the meantime. He’s still responsible for pitching other NFL and college teams in the U.S. on the value of TrackMan.

The technology has been used on “Sunday Night Football” TV broadcasts since 2018, providing real-time data such as ball speed, apex and “good from” distance — i.e., the maximum yardage from which a field goal attempt would have been successful. In practice environments, the system can provide kickers with even more data, including launch angle, spin rate and ball height at the line of scrimmage.

That’s the sort of information kickers can’t get anywhere else. Information they can use to kick a football higher, straighter and further. And no one understands the value of that information more than Mathiesen.

“I think I’m the best example of how kickers can utilize TrackMan to get better,” Mathiesen said. “I haven’t played in a game for a few years, but I feel like I have an advantage because no one else has had access to the system as much as I have. I’m so much better now than I was five years ago, it’s not even close, and there’s no way I would be where I am without TrackMan.”

“That’s the story I’m excited to tell.”



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